This week on the blog, we welcome Nicola, a cloth bum mum who talks about the power of the cloth nappy community.
For the past 6 years I have worked as a Mental Health Occupational Therapist. When I say occupational I don’t mean workplace therapy, we call the everyday things we do “occupations”. Things such as getting dressed, doing a food shop, having the ability to work, being able to get food and fluids and generally looking after our own health. The list goes on.
Some people are not able to carry out these occupations because of health issues, sometimes caused by social and environmental factors. The job of an occupational therapist is to enable a person to reach their full potential in life whatever it may be. An example of this could be someone who is experiencing increased anxiety and is restricted in completing those everyday tasks. It’s my job to provide advice and options to help that person carry out those tasks. It may not be achieved to the same degree as someone without increased anxiety, but it is an achievement nonetheless.
How the pandemic has affected our mental wellbeing
Humans are sociable beings and having a regular routine in life gives us a role and a sense of purpose that we need to thrive. To feel who we are. For every person in England at the moment life has been limited, our usual roles and responsibilities, occupations, routines and hobbies have been stripped away. These are major life changes and I’m sure that all of us have felt this emotionally in one way or another. Parents who were home schooling were not only being asked to be the parent but also the teacher, cook, cleaner, referee.
Our identities have been pushed further than they have before.
For the first time, everyone is having to experience this restricted way of living, schools were closed, a lot of shops and workplaces still are. Contact has been majorly limited, our mental health has been pushed to its limits because of social isolation.
A modern community
There has been one place that has continued to thrive throughout the entirety of the pandemic, the huge online community. People have been able to connect with others and form friendships, in our little corner of the world - because of the shared commitment of reusable nappies.
Some really lovely things have been done this past year through the caring cloth nappy community. Are you the mum that reached out for advice and ended up receiving more support than you imagined? Did someone post you a free nappy because you had recently shared how you lost one you loved? Were you an NHS staff member who was given some Baba+Boo nappies? And did it lead you finding the online community of other mums on the Hangout Page?
We all have different stories to tell, but the shared cloth bum occupation has allowed so many of us to connect with likeminded people. This outlet of social interaction has supported us in finding that role and connection to a community we have been longing for.
Keep looking out and supporting one another, you are some of the nicest people I have ever met.